Objectives: To evaluate the biomechanical effect of the X-Stop device on the intervertebral foramen (IVF) and segmental spinal canal length (SSCL), as well as the intervertebral disc space at the implanted and the adjacent segments in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS).
Materials and methods: Eight elderly patients with LSS, scheduled for X-stop implantation, were CT or MRI scanned to construct 3D vertebral models (L2-S1). Before and after the surgery, each patient was also imaged using a dual-fluoroscopic image system during weight-bearing standing and maximum extension-flexion. The positions of the vertebrae were then determined using an established 2D-3D model matching method.
Results: The data revealed that the postoperative IVF area was significantly increased by 32.9% (or 32 mm2) (p<0.05) and the IVF width was increased by 24.4% (or 1.1 mm, p=0.06) during extension, but with minimal change in standing and flexion. The IVF heights were significantly (p<0.05) increased at standing by 1.2 mm and extension by 1.8 mm, but not at flexion. The SSCL were significantly (p<0.05) increased at extension by 1.2 mm, but not at standing and flexion. Anterior disc space of the implanted level was significantly decreased from 8.0 to 6.6 mm during standing.
Conclusion: The X-Stop implantation efficiently enlarged the IVF area in the elderly patients with LSS at the operated level with little biomechanical effect immediately on the superior and inferior adjacent levels. However, it reduced the anterior disc space at the implanted level.